Perth Faith groups join global demonstration for climate justice

Increasingly impatient that governments, corporations, and financial institutions have not addressed the climate crisis despite decades of warnings from scientists and mounting climate impacts, the Uniting Church WA joined with the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) and diverse faith communities around the globe in a co-ordinated action today under the banner of Faiths 4 Climate.

Ann Zubrick, Presiding Clerk of Quakers Australia joined the Western Australian branch of ARRCC as they gathered outside the office of Federal Member of Parliament, the Hon Steve Irons. Supporters in Bunbury also gathered outside the office of the Federal Member for Forrest, Hon Nola Marino MP. Continue Reading

Mission Plan starts with community connection

During its Mission Planning process in 2018, one of the disturbing learnings for Star Street Uniting Church in Carlisle was that we were virtually invisible in our local community.

While our building is on a busy intersection, it is not immediately identifiable as a church – many locals thought it was part of a nearby nursing home, or a business or offices. A few years ago an attractive mural to symbolise our church had been created on an outside wall, but it was clear we needed more. Few local residents knew about our church, what we did or what we stood for. Continue Reading

Get involved in the Permanency Campaign

Living in a time of video calls and social distancing, it’s easy to feel unsure about what the future holds. Earlier this year many speculated about life on the other side of COVID-19.

Nine months on, that future remains uncertain. But for some members of our community, this precariousness has lasted much longer. For many refugees, a chance at a new life in Australia can mean living in uncertainty for eight or more years without knowing if they’ll be allowed to make their home here, or forced to return to the violence they sought safety from. Continue Reading

Reconnect with the Covenant

The Uniting Church WA, through the Social Justice Commission, has released a Covenanting resource for its congregations.

A Guide to Congregations in Walking Together as First and Second Peoples encourages and supports councils of the church to re-commit to the Covenant with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC), to engage and deepen covenantal relationships, and to inspire the church to take action for creating change. Continue Reading

Tranby Engagement Hub a WA first

Uniting WA is thrilled to have opened the doors to its transformed Tranby Engagement Hub (Tranby), Perth’s first co-designed and purpose-built crisis intervention space for people experiencing homelessness.

Minister for Community Services, Simone McGurk, officially launched the newly renovated Tranby, made possible by a $1.7m grant from Lotterywest, at an event in June.Continue Reading

Uniting Church WA calls to protect LGBTQA+ community from harmful ‘conversion therapies’

The Uniting Church WA calls on the Western Australian Government to work closely with the LGBTQA+ community and survivors of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts (SOGICE), including people of faith, to introduce legislation to protect people from harmful ‘conversion therapies’.

This practice, which encourages efforts to directly and indirectly attempt to change or supress a person’s sexuality or gender identity, has caused serious, ongoing, and tragic harm to those affected. Continue Reading

Uniting Church WA calls to end deaths in custody

The Uniting Church WA calls on the Western Australian Government to commit to ending preventable deaths in custody, noting the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in WA’s justice system, particularly among young people.

The church also calls on the government to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody; embed culturally appropriate mental health support in police lockups, prisons and places of detention; broaden cultural awareness training for police, juvenile justice and prison officers; and work with Aboriginal Elders, community leaders and organisations to co-design an Aboriginal Justice Agreement.Continue Reading

Earth, Sea and Sky: Sustainable September 2021

Each year, the Social Justice Commission of the Uniting Church WA resources the church for Sustainable September by preparing and distributing worship material for congregations within the WA Synod.

This year, the theme is ‘Earth, Sea and Sky’, which focuses on nourishing and caring for our natural resources. The worship materials, including a full liturgy outline, sermon reflections and PowerPoint slides, cover the four Sundays in September.

Each Sunday concentrates on a different aspect of the theme – soil, waters, skies and humankind’s relationship with the Earth.

Wendy Hendry, Uniting Church WA Social Justice Officer, said, “We are encouraged to know that congregations set aside the month of September to reflect, pray and take action on issues of sustainability and our Christian call to care for creation.

“The statement made at Assembly back in 2006 is as relevant in 2021 as it was back then, and continues to underpin the work we do, including our focus on Sustainable September.”

The statement, For the Sake of the Planet and All its People, said “we renew our commitment to move towards sustainable non-exploitative living, believing that God’s creation — the Earth itself and all the life that it supports — is precious and the Earth’s resources exist for the good of all now as well as future generations.”

Wendy said “We’re thankful for the work Rev Gordon Scantlebury has done in creating so much of the resource material, which are designed to be a user-friendly package for churches with or without a minister in placement.

“Worship leaders can use the material as is or adapt according to their congregation style. We encourage you to get creative with it, connect with relevant examples of sustainability and environmental issues in your community, and facilitate discussion within your congregation.”

Sustainable September 2021 worship resources are available to download at ecochurcheswa.net/worship-resources.

For more information, contact the Social Justice Unit at social.justice@wa.uca.org.au

Mikaela Turner

Christians unite for Afghanistan

In a significant sign of unity, major church denominations and Christian organisations have come together to support Afghan Refugees, launching the Christians United for Afghanistan campaign.

The Uniting Church in Australia as well as Sydney Anglicans, Baptists, Catholics, Pentecostals as well as the Australian Christian Lobby, Micah Australia and Common Grace have signed on to support the campaign.

Continue Reading